What is the Memorial Park Plan?

The land behind City Hall and Euclid Public Library contains one portion owned by the City of Euclid (north of Stanic Field) and the other owned by the Euclid Schools (Stanic Field and the area east of Stanic Field, south to the Stadium). The passage of Issue 111 provides the funding to further develop Memorial Park, thus enhancing the space to attract both residents and visitors to the “heart” of our community. This plan includes improved playing fields and related facilities. *Please see the diagram of the area at the end of this document (page four) for locations of the planned fields.

I thought this was a schools project. Why are we talking about Memorial Park?
We consistently explained during the campaign to pass Issue 111 that a portion ($3.5 million) of the funding would be dedicated to renovations in Memorial Park. This is a very small percentage (2.6%) of the entire project’s budget.

Why do you need city council approval for this plan?
We seek to build two fields on city-owned land in Memorial Park. We need city council’s approval to build these fields on city property and an agreement so that we can specify how these fields will be maintained and shared between the city and school district.

Why did the schools include in their bond issue a plan for city property?
We were motivated by two factors:

  1. We want to improve the recreational options and facilities available to our residents. By improving Euclid’s recreational options, our park will attract more events, tournaments etc. into our community to increase revenue possibilities for both our school district and city.

  2. We need practice and competitive fields for our middle and high school soccer and football teams in a centralized location since we are consolidating our middle and high schools onto one campus

Why are the schools focusing on this part of the project first?
The park project and the conversion of Forest Park to an Early Learning Village are entirely locally funded. We have already identified an architect (Architectural Vision Group) for the park project and want to finish as soon as possible to maximize the benefits to the community and our students. The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) is providing 41% of the funding for the school projects. We have begun the design process with them, but cannot move as quickly through this portion of the bond issue construction as we must work as a team with the OFCC.

Do you really need two turf fields in Memorial Park?
The consolidation of our middle school and high school onto one campus ensures that we will have many more fall athletes in need of practice and competitive spaces. Turf fields ensure a consistent field surface for our athletes and those from the city’s various recreational programs, including the Euclid Youth Soccer Organization, who will also be using these fields throughout the fall season. It is also much more easily maintained than natural grass fields. Our school district, alone, will have the following teams:


Level

Team

Estimated Athletes

Middle School

7th Grade Football (Two Teams)

60


8th Grade Football (Two Teams)

60

High School

Freshmen Football

50


JV Football

40


Varsity Football

70


JV Girls Soccer

20


Varsity Girls Soccer

20


JV Boys Soccer

20


Boys Varsity Soccer

20


Total

360


In the spring, we will maintain the capacity to house our middle and high school baseball and softball programs and still house many of the city’s recreational softball fields on our property within the park. We are working with City Council and the Recreation Department to develop procedures which allow for the most efficient and cost effective shared use of the two new soccer/football fields.

What about walking trails?
The Memorial Park plan also calls for the construction of walking trails throughout the park. These will help to connect the various fields and spaces within the park. The city and schools will maintain the portions of the trails that are located on their respective properties.

Do residents have access to your facilities?
Yes. Throughout the course of 2016, we hosted 1,849 events for various clubs/groups/recreational sponsors, etc. The vast majority of these events came at no cost to the sponsoring organization. The most common “no charge” sponsors were the Euclid Recreation Department (278 events at no cost) and Open Doors Academy (212 events at no cost), a sponsor of after-school programming for our students. We will continue to open our facilities as often as possible for our community members, as we want to cultivate a sense of “community campuses,” available for various functions 18 hours per day. In addition, groups for profit and various other groups outside of the community have rented out our gyms and other parts of the building yielding over $50,000.00 in revenue to help with the upkeep of the current facilities.

When did you first present this plan?
In 2013, less than a year after the elementary schools were completed, the district began working on a plan to “Finish The Job.” Our goal was to create additional assets for our community and to provide greater access for our residents to our school buildings and property. We first presented this concept, including the same projected map of Memorial Park, from which we have worked this winter, to City Council in a meeting in a work session on May 7, 2014. We also invited City Council to a presentation May 10, 2016 to review and comment upon the most significant elements of the bond issue. Further, we met individually with members who did not attend the May 10 meeting so that they could ask specific questions and provide comments. Finally, we consulted multiple times both former Mayor Cervenik and current Mayor Holzheimer-Gail before beginning the campaign.

During the campaign, we presented to dozens of neighborhood associations, ward meetings, church groups, PTAs, and other assemblies. In the poll we conducted last May, 69% of respondents indicated that they favored the improvement of recreational facilities in Memorial Park.

Why is the school district moving so quickly?
We must remove the affected trees by March 31 as the Indiana Bat provision of the Endangered Species Act prevents us from doing so between April 1 and September 30. Further, in order to complete the improvements planned in our stadium by August, it is critical we complete all other fields in the park at the same time. This allows us to obtain bulk discounts for both materials and labor and avoid paying multiple site mobilization costs. Architectural Vision Group (AVG) explains that phasing in the projects over multiple summers would cost an additional $200,000 than completing all segments this year.

Is synthetic turf safe?|
We have read through multiple studies that attempt to answer this question and found the following statement to be the clearest response:

“During the past two decades, there have been more than 60 technical studies and reports that review the health effects of crumb rubber as it pertains to toxicities from inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact, as well as cancer. These studies and reports were performed during the past 22 years by independent organizations such as: Connecticut Department of Health, Hofstra University, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and University of California Berkeley. The preponderance of evidence shows no negative health effects associated with crumb rubber in synthetic turf. As NBC factually reported, "there is no research directly linking crumb rubber exposure to cancer.”

Synthetic Turf Council (2014), retrieved from athleticbusiness.com

Does the plan require the elimination of trees?
Yes, the middle school track and football field is projected to be located just south of the CE Orr Ice Arena. Currently, this space includes a patch of trees. The trees are aged (80-85 years old), and many are unhealthy. The city’s arborist has determined that 10 of these trees should be removed immediately and 39 trees should be removed in near future. We would replace trees that are eliminated in this area at a 1:1 ratio along the walking trails we will construct throughout the park.

Are there other options?
We presented Plans B and C (see page five) to City Council at our February 1 work session. Though each meet our school district’s need for multiple soccer/football fields, they would eliminate the possibility of continuing to host recreational softball leagues in Memorial Park. Recreation Director Stephens and his staff support Plan A (see page four) as the most beneficial for their programming requirements.

Who will pay for the maintenance of the fields?
The school district will pay for maintenance of the fields.

How will you maintain the fields?
Synthetic turf requires less labor than grass fields on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis. Specifically, our analysis projects the 10-year cost of natural grass ($905,000) to dramatically outpace that of field turf ($570,000) (source: http://www.wellesleyma.gov/pages/WellesleyMA_SpragueResources/Turf%20vs.%20Natural%20Grass-Cost%20Analysis.pdf). Further, our district maintains a 2.5 mill continuing permanent improvement levy, .5 of which is set aside specifically for maintenance of new facilities constructed through the passage of Issue 111. None of the funding from these sources can be used for personnel or short-term needs. We will use these funds to maintain the fields.

What happens if City Council does not approve a shared use agreement?
The entire investment into Memorial Park is approximately $3.5 million. In the proposed project, we would spend $1.5-1.7 million on improvements on the city’s portion of the park. If we cannot reach agreement with the city, we will be forced to invest all of the money into developing our property.



Proposed Memorial Park Plan A (above)

Plan B (above): Maintains two fields on our property, City loses walking trails, men's softball leagues


Plan C (above): Maintains two fields, loss of Middle School track, men's softball leagues, one softball field


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